Chicken tikka masala is THE most popular Indian dish for first-timers to Indian food and also for seasoned Indian food consumers. There is something about that fresh, roasted tomato and onion curry that gets everyone’s mouths salivating.
Since it’s so popular, I’m thinking y’all should learn to say it correctly, too. In a world where “Schwarzenegger” is easily said, it is about time people start saying Indian words (and names) correctly. Tikka isn’t pronounced “teee-ka,” but more like “tick-a,” okay? THANK YOU. Also, you can substitute tofu or paneer for the chicken in this recipe if you’re a vegetarian like myself, or you can keep calm and carry on with chicken. We made enough tikka masala to enjoy dinner and add with our breakfast eggs lol. I know that’s kind of strange, but man we are HOOKED.
i n g r e d i e n t s
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes
- 1 medium-sized onion
- Fresh coriander leaves
- Spices: paprika, cumin, chili powder, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, garlic, salt, coriander (I use powders from whole foods for everything except for fresh diced garlic)
- 1/2 cup boiled milk
- Oil (I use olive oil)
- 4 medium-sized chicken breasts (1 per person)
- Yogurt (I use semi-skimmed)
- Lemon or lime juice
- 1/2 green bell pepper
You’ll also need one medium-sized sauce pan with a lid and one mixing bowl with a lid.
c h i c k e n m a r i n a d e
- Wash all the chicken thoroughly.
- Cut into tiny cubes/pieces.
- Put into the mixing bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix well and set aside for fifteen minutes. This will ensure the sour and salty flavors get into the chicken before we add the spices.
- After fifteen minutes, add a teaspoon each of the ginger, cumin, garlic, chili powder, paprika, garam masala, plus two large dollops of yogurt.
- If the mixture is still too thick, add extra yogurt as necessary so every piece of chicken is covered in the yogurt marinade. Cover the mixture.
- Refrigerate and let it sit in there for as long as you would like. I opt for eight hours so it’s super flavorful! Mmmm, mmm, mm.
m a k e t h a t m a s a l a
- Wash all the vegetables and coriander leaves.
- Finely dice one tomato and one onion.
- Cut the green bell pepper into long strips and cut those strips in half.
- Blend the other two tomatoes so they make a fresh tomato puree.
- Put 2 tablespoons of oil on the pan and get it going on medium-high heat.
- Once the pan is heated, throw in the onions and let them cook until they are a light brown color.
- When the onions are lightly browned, toss in the slices of green bell pepper, the diced tomato, and the tomato puree. Make sure the tomatoes are pulpy and the onions are browned thoroughly. You may need to add some oil here.
- Bring the heat down to low-medium and add a teaspoon each of garlic, coriander, and salt.
- Start boiling the milk in another pan.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric, chili powder, ginger, paprika, cumin, garam masala, and ginger to the medium-sized sauce pan.
- Stir in the boiled milk to the sauce pan. Stir well and cover.
- Let it cook for fifteen minutes on low heat. It will turn darker and thicker.
- Try the masala and season to taste. I keep salt levels low and let guests add in salt as they prefer.
a l m o s t d o n e
- Get a medium-sized pan on high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add in the marinated chicken. It will sizzle like craycray since the pan is on high heat.
- Let the chicken cook for about five minutes while stirring as necessary to make sure each side hits the heat of the pan.
- Cut through a few pieces of chicken to make sure the inside is white and tender and not pink. Cook longer if necessary.
- Add the chicken to the masala along with fresh coriander leaves on top.
- You are ready to serve!